this is "nightline." >> tonight. breaking news. a raging wildfire jumps a highway shutting down the main route connecting vegas to southern california. burning 3,000-plus acres of land, threatening dozens of homes and vehicles. the latest tonight while firefighters battle that gigantic the blaze. >> the full-scale terrorism investigation. the sporty popular kid growing up in america. did he get radicalized? inspired by isis on a trip to the middle east? authorities now combing through his computer and cell phone for clues to the tennessee terror. tonight loved ones remembering four victims, decorated veterans who served in iraq and afghanistan. no speed limit. minimal training. it's no wonder there are accidents like this on the water.
tonight we're finding out what you need to know to prevent a boating disaster. skills that could mean the difference between life and death. you might be surprised where the world's most expensive coffee comes from. if we told you it was a delicacy people pay hundreds for, would you sip on cat pooh coffee? inside the exotic new business. first, the "nightline 5." we're built on the idea that education and hard work can change everything, that success comes to those who never quit and never stop dreaming. along the way, an education seemed further out of reach. at southern new hampshire university we are committed to your success to helping you transform your life and the lives of those around you. find your online program today and see yourself succeed at snhu.edu. >> number one in just 60 seconds.
good evening. we come on the air tonight with breaking developments. firefighters battling a fast moving wildfire that jumped the major artery between vegas and southern california. tonight shutting down the i-15 freeway, prompting mandatory evacuations. people fleeing their cars. and at this hour at least 20 vehicles and several homes burned. many more in jeopardy. we'll stay on the story throughout the night on abcnews.com. now we turn to the major federal investigation into the 24-year-old suspect shot dead after allegedly killing four military men in chattanooga. he was a standout athlete, raised in tennessee. was he inspired by isis? here's abc's senior national correspondent jim avila. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: as the sound of the hail of bullets in chattanooga
fade away, authorities look into the past of yet another lone wolf shooter. we're learning more details about mohammad youssef abdulazeez abdulazeez. a naturalized american citizen born in kuwait. the 24-year-old was an electrical engineer with a good paying job. he was an athlete, seen here competing in an amateur mixed martial arts event. >> mohammod youssuf abdulazeez! >> reporter: here in a individually he posted to social media, jumping in a swimming hole with friends. in 2012 he graduated from the university of tennessee. his mom posting these photos on facebook. four years earlier. he joked in his yearbook writing, my name causes national security alert. what does yours do? >> he was just a typical american kid in high school. >> reporter: abdulazeez's high school teacher who hasn't seen him in seven or eight years recalls how he was as a teenager. >> i mean he was a joker all the time. kind of reminds you of a regular
fraternity boy or something. >> reporter: more recently signs of trouble. officials tell abc news he spent seven months in jordan. a potential turning point. and in april he was arrested for alleged dui. a few days ago he posted on his blog "life is short and bitter." tonight, new details about what happened in those chaotic moments that took four lives. [ gunfire ] >> he did have at least two long guns. and he did have and one handgun. >> it was clear that this gunman had every intent to encounter and murder police officers if he needed to. >> reporter: the harrowing ordeal began at 10:45 yesterday morning. a man in a silver ford mustang convertible, top down, drove into this strip mall where recruiters are set up for all branches of the military. sally breyer's stepson, national guard recruiter, was inside. she was waiting for him when she saw that black rifle.
>> he was coming in the parking lot real slow. and he reached down into the passenger seat. and started pulling out the rifle. i saw the black handle come out. >> the shooter fired dozens of rounds into the recruitment offices, hitting one marine in the leg. >> then he picked it up like this and he just went back and forth like this. unloaded the cartridge, put another one in and went back and forth again. and did the same thing. >> reporter: sunny hubbard was at her a son in the strip mall when the shots rang out. >> i didn't know what to do. i was just stunned. they were just screaming. they couldn't believe it. >> reporter: but the shooting didn't last long. within seconds, abdulazeez took off. racing nearly seven miles down the highway. to a navy reserve support center. >> chattanooga police officers immediately began following and chasing that vehicle between the first and second locations. >> reporter: he entered the facility and started shooting again killing four marines. >> all units respond.
all units respond. we're treating this as a mass casualty incident. >> reporter: police descended and a firefight broke out. >> these officers were under a tremendous amount of gunfire. and yet they continued to move forward against this target. >> reporter: during the melee, officer dennis padigo was struck by gunfire. >> as he went down his teammates who were responding equally as aggressively came to his aid. they put their hands on him, dragged him from under the gunfire, and bravely returned fire to ensure he was safe and the gunman remained engaged. >> reporter: police shot and killed the shooter just 30 minutes after his first shots rang out. it was all over. what resonates tonight are the faces of the victims. the bab-faced skip wells, just 21 years old, the only son raised by a single mother. he had only recently joined the marine reserves. >> skip was made for the marines.
and the marines was made for skip. >> reporter: his friends say he loved music. >> he was a member of his high school band. he was in the orchestra at church. >> no one ever in military ever would expect to die in the capacity of which he did. but he died with his boots on and he died doing what he loved. >> reporter: in the moments before he died, wells according to the associated press, texting his girlfriend his last word. "active shooter." and then there is combat veteran gunnery sergeant thomas sullivan, 40 years old, who survived two tours of duty in iraq only to be gunned down here at home. >> it's extremely tragic to see an american soldier killed on american soil. it's never happened. it should never happen. >> reporter: sullivan's family draped the flag over their restaurant in springfield, massachusetts, and wrote this. he was our hero.
and he will never be forgotten. thank you, tommy, for protecting us. in grantsburg wisconsin, carson holm quist's picture today hanging on his high school's military honor wall. he was only 27. and in burke, north carolina david white being remembered tonight by his aunt. "he was dedicated as a father and husband," she tells us. "his life was one of joy and love." the fbi is now investigating whether abdulazeez has any links to international terrorist groups including isis. >> we will look at every possible aspect to include his use of social media. and this time we have no indication that he was inspired by or directed by anyone other than himself. >> reporter: yesterday's attack is eerily reminiscent of past mass shootings that targeted domestic military sites. in 2013, a lone gunman killed 12
at the washington navy yard. last year, four people were killed during a rampage at ft. hood in texas. >> attention, all units. we have an active shooter currently at ft. hood. >> reporter: it was the second attack at the base. 13 people were gunned down there in 2009. >> we have entered a period of new normal where attacks like this can occur anyplace in the country. >> reporter: tonight, security is enhanced at military recruitment centers around the country. but for a community and a nation mourning the loss of four marines, it is a time of solidarity and renewed purpose. for "nightline," jim avila, in chattanooga, tennessee. next, the surprising tool you can turn into a life preserver when a fast-moving ride becomes an accident in the blink of an eye. more than the medicines in tylenol or aleve. use the medicine that pharmacists use most for themselves. relief doesn't get any better than this. advil.
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getting a hands-on look at what you can do to protect yourself. >> reporter: lake of the ozarks in missouri, a seemingly perfect day on the water. >> we went to full speed rather quickly. and then the next two minutes, the accident took place within a blink of an eye. >> reporter: the boat lurches but doesn't capsize. all captured by a go pro that they mounted to the boat. the video going viral netting nearly 4 million views. >> we were doing 89, 90 miles an hour right before we wrecked. >> reporter: the girl on the left seemingly in agony. >> i broke my right wrist, i broke my left leg, i ruptured a disk in my lowest lumbar in my back. >> reporter: a boat comes to their assistance as they wait for water patrol to arrive. >> the fact the boat didn't flip multiple times is still amazing. we got very lucky. everybody was happy to be alive. >> reporter: not everyone is so fortunate. according to the coast guard, in
2014 there were over 4,000 accidents resulting in 610 deaths. and nearly 2,700 injuries from recreational boating. >> hey, i'm matt. >> reporter: to learn how to avoid a boating disaster i turned to the pros. brad shoenwalled performance boat school and larry goldman from extreme powerboats in miami. they agreed to teach me how to safely operate a boat on the water, a skill that believe it or not is actually optional. >> to operate a boat you don't have to get what we think of as a driver's license? >> it's not required to run a boat like this. go online. answer some questions and get an operator's card. beyond that there is no skill required to be demonstrated to operate a boat. >> reporter: shoenwalled says most accidents happen because people operating a boat have far too little skill. one of the most important lessons controlling the trip or the angle of the nose of the boat. what happens if the nose is too high? >> leave the wave. leave the wake.
fly through the air. all the weight in the back of the boat. back of the boat lands first. which you don't want it to do. >> reporter: to demonstrate we bring in a yacht to churn up a wake. larry is driving. i'm riding white-knuckled shotgun. he plounchs into this wake. nose up, we soar into the air. i scream in wide-eyed terror. watch the nose flap down on the water. if we'd come down harder we could have been hurt. now larry has the trim spun on and we cut right through the very same wake. the guys caution expect the unexpected. always wear a life jacket in case the boat capsizes. and use a kill switch. >> if the boat becomes out of control because the operator failed to do something correctly, it throws you out of the boat. this will come along and kill the engines. >> reporter: a kill switch is likely what saved this boater's life when he was tossed from the boat. the next thing to be aware of, your speed. larry puts me behind the wheel of this 46 foot catamaran.
we're flying at 130 miles an hour. there's no speed limit on the open water. he handles the throttle. i steer. larry says this requires something elemental. concentration. >> as you go faster of course, you know the danger factor increases. and you have to be more aware because things are happening a lot quicker. traveling a football field every few seconds. >> reporter: what should you do if you find yourself thrown into the middle of the water with no help in sight? to find out we traveled to mexico's sea of cortez, where i was plunked in not far from a place called shark island. that's where dan baird, head instructor from california survival school, comes to the rescue. the first thing dan tells me to do is take off my shoes. tie them around my neck. shoes are not conducive to treading water and we may be here for a while. >> the first thing we do is maintain our breathing. get it slowed down. slow down our heart rate. figure out how to maintain a
float. >> you do that by -- taking my pants off. didn't think i'd do this on tv ever. >> tie the legs tight. don't waste airspace. by tying them too far up the pant leg. >> reporter: i actually turned my pants into a life preserver. >> if you don't see land what do you do? >> you don't see land, stay calm, conserve energy. >> reporter: panicking will deplete your energy and your ability to think. >> another option, dead man's float. fill our lungs with air. put yourself face down. just let yourself float. until you need to take a breath. >> reporter: when you find yourself on the water this summer, keep in mind these simple tips that can mean the difference between a pleasant day on the water and something very different. for "nightline," i'm matt gutman, miami. up next -- a fancy new coffee with a very unusual origin story. the secret is poop from a cat.
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you you know, all chefs have secret ingredient in their favorite recipes. i put garlic on everything. but the secret to the world's most expensive coffee may make you think twice about your kitty litter. i'll let abc's gloria riviera take it from here. >> reporter: this cuddly creature, an indonesian civet cat, an animal whose precious droppings -- >> i think he's pooping.
is he pooping? >> yes! >> reporter: holds the secret to a coffee craze. >> isn't that icky when you look at that? apparently it is funny. >> reporter: because people in the west are willing to pay $90 for a single serving of this exotic delicacy harvested from a place, well where the sun don't shine. they call it kopi luwack. after jack nicholson extolled the virtues his fancy cup of joe in "the bucket list" -- >> the rarest beverage in the world. >> reporter: it spawned a frenzy of demand in the west. we came to bali indonesia, to better understand the mysterious allure of the most expensive coffee on earth. >> wow, that's a heavy bag. >> reporter: first stop, a local civet farm. run by a woman who goes by ibu, or mother, santi. she explains after the animals eat the flesh of ripe coffee cherries, their digestive systems impart a smooth body and
aroma to the beans. >> it comes out like that. >> yeah. >> and that's the magic stuff? >> yes. >> reporter: historically civets roamed free on coffee plantations plantations. >> i have 102 civets. >> reporter: these days the vast majority of farms control the population. she says most of hers have been in captivity for six years. >> they're in there all the time? >> reporter: she insists they're treated well. >> my friend. >> your friend? >> yes. big business. >> reporter: but this big business comes at a big price, for the cats according to animal rights groups who say captivity takes a serious toll on the civets. the controversy doesn't seem to scare off the coffee aficionados, who pay up to $250 a pound. >> in this case quality is not the driving factor for price. it's supply demand, and hype. >> reporter: rocky rhodes coffee consultant and master
taster, does not believe the hype. we asked him to put his theory to the test. >> is it dramatically better than coffees we might find at regular coffee shops? >> reporter: neither rocky nor these professional coffee cuppers know which sample contains the specific coffee. >> this has blueberry, fruity pebbles on that one. >> reporter: after tallying votes. >> that one was my favorite. luwack was fourth for me. >> reporter: fourth place. not a ringing endorsement, since this kopi luwack costs ten times more than the highest-ranking coffee on the table. back in bali the civet reigns supreme. even if their coffee doesn't always measure up. for many the thrill of the hunt is tantalizing enough. for "nightline," gloria riviera, in bali, indonesia. >> would you try cat poop coffee? head to our "nightline" facebook page and let us know. thanks for watching abc news. tune into "good morning america"